That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

Who’s God IS God? (or do they work by committee?)

A couple of days ago, on facebook (of all places), I became involved in a discussion on a hypothetical scenario:  If a Non-Christian saves 3 children from a burning building and dies…And a Christian saves 3 children from a burning building and dies…Who has the most favor from God the Christian or Non-Christian??

I was greatly distressed — but not surprised (is this possible?) — by the responses.

I don’t expect most people to be Christians. But it is sobering to see how unsaved so many of us are. And how unconcerned they seem to be at the fact.

These were black folk, and most of them seemed to filter their views through the screen of their race. That is, their pro-blackness seemed to take precedence over who God may or may not be.

The responses were relativistic and pluralistic. And, of course, the Christian POV was lambasted. We were called arrogant and short-sighted.

There were a couple who told the hard truth — No Jesus, no Heaven — but most of them put the emphasis on the goodness of the deed and judged that they BOTH should go to Heaven.

I said:

“I’m glad God is not like us, judging on personal merit, or else no matter HOW many good deeds I did, the stuff I did wrong would overwhelmingly condemn me!”
I naively thought that that was a debate-ending argument. I leaned back with pride and read and RE-read what I wrote. I usually try to formulate those kinds, but I constantly forget that most people don’t debate by the Marquis of Queensbury rules!
They went on, saying things like, “Who’s to say that Christians have a monopoly on what is the right way? I believe in Jesus, but who am I to be so arrogant to think that my belief is the only way to ‘The Creator’? Religion is what separates us and causes problems. I’m not bashing Christians– I grew up in the Baptist church — (So! If I grew up in a can would that make me sardines?!?), but who wrote that book? Was Jesus a Christian? There are people who have no religion at all who are more Christian that most Christians I know?”
I said: One thing I can’t STAND is arrogance! So that’s not me. But in matters like this, I try to say what GOD says, so when He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” I say, “Okay,” and get on board! If a dude can lay His life down and pick it up again, I tend to believe what He says.
God may not label us as WE label ourselves,
but He has this book called “The Lamb’s Book of Life” in which HIS are written. He sent His Son to save us, and if we reject Him, we get to spend eternity just as in life — separated from Him — according to our OWN will.
The end of it all for me is this: We all leave our fates in the hands of an Infinitely fair Judge! He will deal squarely with us all… even those in the remotest corners of the Earth (whom we seem to mention only during debates like these). I trust that He will judge us based on the degree of light and revelation we have through Him. All of us on FACEBOOK have heard the name “Jesus” and know what Salvation means.
I thought that was pretty good. But they just totally ignored what I said and continued with the idea that good deeds should be the measure of eternal life.
I guess I knew that that would be the way it would go, but I just wanted to leave no one with the idea that they had never heard the Gospel.
The guy who brought up the whole subject basically told me that I was narrow-minded and had my nose stuck in a book somebody wrote and corrupted, and that I pretty much bought whatever the preacher said on Sundays. He thanked me for being reasonable and told me that I needed to get out more and think more critically.
This was, to me, an hiLARious mischaracterization of who I am! No one scrutinizes what preachers say more than I! But as I told them:
Thanks, man! It is ALWAYS good to be reasonable! (I DO look at more than just what I hear on Sundays. Christianity is waaaay more than just a Sunday worldview! Plus, I have to try to understand where others are coming from and not be myopic. But at some point, a person has to reach a conclusion. Based on study and information. Nothing wrong with that.)
I don’t know… This kind of thing bothers me. It is the main reason why I write this blog. I hate to see people NOT GET IT!!! What seems so obvious to me is foolishness to those who are perishing, and I  just want them to see the logic and seamlessness of God’s methods as it relates to soteriology.
And I rail against racism largely because young, progressive black folk take the hypocrisy,evils, and mistreatment of our national history — and present — and cast Christianity out with the dirty bathwater. They assume — erroneously — that the White Man’s God (born in Africa!) must be bad because His messenger is bad.
We got work to do!

August 6, 2009 - Posted by | Christ, Christian Life, Christianity, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Race, Racism, Religion, Salvation


  1. I hear you, man…but honestly my ideas on this subject have become a lot less dogmatic. Going to a school with Muslim, Hindu, and Atheist friends who are good people (and act better than many proclaimed Christians) has made me really hope that God’s plan for salvation makes room for people who may have been taught all their lives that Allah (insert any other deity) is the way, believing just as strongly in their correctness as I do. At the end of the day all I can say when I enter these types of discussions is that God is gonna decide…and that’s the end of the story. I don’t have any room for judgment…honestly, none of us do.

    Thanks, Joe. I’ll admit, this is all difficult to sort through. But the plan of salvation is pretty simply laid out. NONE of this is about how good we are. As much as we hate to hear that.
    And as for judgment… we are allowed to make judgements on certain things, just not to do so hypocritically or self-righteously. I, being a musician like you, have a lot of loved ones who don’t profess Christ — even doing just the opposite. It is not a sin to assent to what they admit ostensibly themselves. My heart and desire is for them to be saved.

    What we KNOW is what God has said from the beginning about who He is, and how to enter into an eternal relationship with Him. I REALLY appreciate your taking the time to read and comment!!!

    Comment by Joe E | August 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. …a LOT of work to do.

    I was just thinking about this. It’s amazing how many people think that they are SO good! EVERYONE is a good person. And that is sad to hear that mindset coming from a “Christian”. We keep thinking in man’s standards when God sees us in a completely different light (or should I say dark…)

    And yea, Derrick there are a TON of us who are unsaved. And it’s so evident in just the things that they say. How can you be a Christian and believe your religion is alright, but then everyone else who believes in something different is fine, too?

    Comment by Erin | August 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Sometimes you can present a very good argument, a clear truth, and people will still disagree. You still did your job – you presented the Gospel.

    Grace really is a hard concept even for Christians. The idea that my good works, my righteousness is like filthy rags; the fact that there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation, knocks the pride out of me. It takes away my ability to brag or say any thing good about myself. It doesn’t matter how many babies I save from burning buildings,I cannot stand before a completely pure and holy God.

    The fact is that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. If anyone says he is without sin, he is a liar and the truth is not in him. We are all in need of a Savior, and God, fulfilling both His mercy and justice, has provided one in His son Jesus. Jesus didn’t wait to see what we would do to deserve salvation, but while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. In fact if we could earn our own salvation by our good deeds, there would be no need for a Savior at all.

    Sara! My friend! Thank you so much!

    Comment by sara | August 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. Derrick, you defended your faith skillfully. I have been in similar discussions with folks that claim the title of “Christian” and it is maddening. How can someone deny salvation through faith alone in Christ alone and still call themself “Christian”? So why did Jesus come to earth? To live a pefect life for what? So that we may find life in Allah or Buddah? Come on people! If you’re going to believe that, don’t claim the title Christian, Universalist would fit better.

    Thanks, Jeff, for that encouragement!

    Comment by Jeff Sikes | August 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. Don’t be surprised, Derrick. Yes, it does break your heart that most folks can argue ANYTHING, from the scriptures. Now, if Jesus said “I am THE way”, not “a way”, then that’s it, right?

    Why does a Christian have to go back and forth, in the head, when Jesus makes it very clear. Paul didn’t say it. Matthew didn’t say it. Tyrell didn’t say it. Jesus said it. So, that settles it. Sometimes we make things rocket science, that’s simple sandbox reasoning.

    Jesus also said, “I tell you the TRUTH, no one can see the kingdom of God, unless he is BORN AGAIN”. Now, if we don’t believe Jesus, and would choose to believe the “goodness” we see in others, we have just called Jesus a liar. How you gonna work that one in?

    “Well Jesus, I know You SAID that You are the only way, but I’ve met some really nice people, who don’t know You. Did you perhaps make a mistake in what You said? Sometimes I slip up and say the wrong thing, so maybe You did too. I’m just sayin'”. Can you imagine saying that to God?

    We are not good, because of the “good” we do. There have always been men/women who have done “good” things. But, with all the “good” we do, God is “gooder” than us all. He’s perfect, and we are not. So, there’s the dilemma, which Jesus (100% goodness in human form) solved.

    Also, we have to do the right thing, for the right reasons, with the right attitude, all the time. That’s a tough call, and only God knows our hearts. There are folks that appear to be great people, only to be discovered down the road as adulterers, murderers (look at the preacher that killed his wife and stuffed her in a freezer). Man looks at the outward, God looks at and knows the heart of man.

    Yes, God knows who belongs to Him, but He would never leave us in limbo, regarding our final destination. Christ is still the Saviour of the world. He has no co-saviors. I preach Christ, crucified.

    Sorry about the long-windedness, Derrick.

    Tracey, no need to apologize! You know how we do!

    Comment by A Nappy Girl | August 7, 2009 | Reply

  6. Not much to lend here. Just wanted you to know that I’m still reading. Let’s continue to pray the Holy Spirit convicts hearts as only He can. It’s almost like watching a person dying of a curable disease, yet he or she doesn’t trust doctors.

    Comment by ricktrotter | August 22, 2009 | Reply

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